Play 'Village Bike' wins Devine

LONDON – Penelope Skinner has won the 2011 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright for her play “The Village Bike.”

A provocative and darkly comic study of sexual fantasy and romance, the play begins previews at the Royal Court Theater beginning June 24 for a July 1 opening. Joe Hill-Gibbins directs Nicholas Burns, Phil Cornwell, Romola Garai, Alexandra Gilbreath, Dominic Rowan and Sasha Waddell.

Skinner, 33, already has an impressive list of credits with productions of her work at theaters including The Bush, Hampstead and National. She also has an untitled play in pre-production with Paines Plough and Sheffield Crucible, opening in November 2011, and is writing an episode of “Fresh Meat,” a new TV drama skein for Objective Productions/Channel 4.

An annual new writing award, the George Devine kudo comes with a prize of £10,000 ($16,000), and is open to any playwright in the U.K. for an original stage play. It was set up in 1966 as a memorial to Devine, the founding a.d. of the Royal Court. Previous winners include Mike Leigh, Hanif Kureishi, Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson, Enda Walsh, Rebecca Gilman and Lucy Prebble.

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